A little rant today.
I was just reading another thread by NM and it reminds me of a conversation I just had with my husband two days ago. These are my opinions…and they are kind of fierce. You don’t have to like them but – as H does - you do need to respect my right to have them.
I did not ask to be put in the position I am in. I am a very open and extroverted person so secrets are not my norm. I am not afraid of what people think of me.
When my husband allowed his abuser to effect my life, and the lives of our children – it no longer became just his story. It became our story. Period. I was CRYSTAL CLEAR with my husband – prior to our marriage – about anything that I could think of that may affect our marriage. I did not go into it harboring secrets. He did. The reason he did that was because he had NO VOCABULARY to disclose because NO ONE TALKS ABOUT SA with regards to men. It’s all a big secret that everyone knows about but no one wants to talk about…..
Well, I own my story and I will not be a party to the web of destruction that this abuse creates. Secrets only perpetuate abuse. Secrets, fear and silence allows abusers to continue to rot people’s lives. Period. Example: Why do we never use the names of the abusers? We don’t even use our own names so it cannot be because we are afraid of liability. So then, why?
I am not the perpetrator. I will not sulk around hiding his secret as if I am somehow a party to his actions. I did not cause my husband’s abuse, I was not in a position to prevent it, and I cannot take away what has been done to him.
I will not (and he should not) carry the shame that only belongs on the shoulders of the abuser. I am not embarrassed by what has happened to him and I don’t think he should be either. His perp ought to be embarrassed, not us. His perp should feel isolated and alone (and I hope he does), not us. If anyone should live in FEAR of what people think of them it’s the perp. If anyone should shut up and try to propagate SILENCE it’s the perp.
In my opinion……Secrets, silence and fear should be perp behavior…..not victim.
BUT … When I speak about abuse, in most cases, I tend to speak in generalities, for my H’s comfort. I need to respect his level of comfort – and I do. My comfort level is WAY beyond his and I understand that.
So – When it comes up, or I bring it up, I say things like ‘A friend of mine was abused and ….’ Or ‘Someone I knew was abused as a child and….’ Or ‘An old neighbor of mine had a son who..…” Or ‘ In my experience, with people I’ve known…..” – etc.
Very often you can have meaningful, helpful, healing, conversations and not actually disclose who you are talking about.
As SOs we NEED to have these conversations sometimes, but, it can be a slippery slope to express what we need to express and maintain the comfort level he needs. Honestly though– most of my best conversations happened here on this site. Most of the in-person friend/family conversations don’t get nearly as in depth. On the flip side though – this web site doesn’t give you the simple hug that can be much needed.
Edited by sugarbaby (03/02/11 06:16 PM)